MORE than 30 suspected Patriot Front members have been arrested near a Pride event after jumping into an uhaul wearing masks and shields.
Kootenai County officials provided an update at 4:30 p.m. local time but called the situation “very, very fresh.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said around 1.38pm this afternoon they received a call from a concerned citizen who saw about 20 people wearing masks and shields jumping into a Uhaul truck.
Authorities later found that the men were also equipped with shin guards and riot gear, including at least one smoke grenade.
White said the citizen told them the group “looked like a little army.”
During a traffic stop carried out by the police almost 10 minutes later, 31 people were arrested.
Officials said they all face charges of conspiring to riot.
It was also noted that the individuals appeared to belong to the Patriot Front.
“Everyone was dressed exactly the same,” White said, noting that at least one person wore a patch that read “Patriot Front.”
White said additional information was uncovered during the investigation that suggests the group had plans to riot beyond the Pride event.
“We haven’t finalized the booking of all 31 people,” White said, noting that some people may incur additional charges.
The detainees came from Idaho, Texas, Utah, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and Virginia, among others.
“It’s clear … they came to riot downtown,” White said.
“Therefore they were appropriately booked for conspiracy to riot.”
There was no information on whether weapons were found.
Pride in the Park, the North Idaho Pride Alliance’s annual event, was held at the Coeur d’Alene City Park and Bandshell.
According to the event’s website, over 1,000 people were expected to attend.
Officials said they had stepped up security after monitoring possible threats to the event.
Partner agencies, including the FBI, have also been in touch with local officials as the situation continued to unfold.
But officials also said the event was “relatively uneventful overall.”
Officials speaking on Saturday afternoon did not expect more information about the incident to be released before Monday.
Coeur d’Alene is a city in northwestern Idaho.
The Patriot Front is a white nationalist group that emerged after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The group is from Vanguard America, an organization that attended the August 12, 2017 rally that killed one woman and injured 19 others.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5543473/patriot-front-members-arrested-pride-event-jumping-into-uhaul/ Shocking images of 31 “Patriot Front members” arrested near the Pride event after masked men with shields jumped into Uhaul